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Industrial gas producer and supplier, Praxair Inc. (PX - Analyst Report) recently priced $900 million worth of notes, offered under the company’s universal shelf registration statement. The offering will consummate on Feb 21, 2013.

The current notes issuance will be given effect through the issuing of $400 million of 0.75% notes due in 2016 and $500 million of 2.70% notes due in 2023, expected to yield 0.771% and 2.740% on maturity, respectively. The offer price for 0.75% notes has been fixed at 99.938% of principal amount while at 99.652% for 2.70% notes.

Interest on these notes will be paid semi-annually with the first payment falling due on August 21, 2013. Praxair intends to use the proceeds from the issuance for repaying short-term debt, repurchase of shares, acquisitions and for general corporate purposes.

Prior to this issue, Praxair had raised $700 million in November 2012, $500 million in August 2012 and $600 million in February 2012.

Exiting 2012, Praxair’s long-term debt balance stood at $6,685.0 million, up 4.6% sequentially. Interest paid during the year totaled $141 million. Rising debt burden will increase the company’s financial obligations all the more in the quarters ahead.

The current Zacks Consensus Estimate for the first quarter of 2013 is $1.39, representing a year-over-year increase of 0.4%. Estimates for years 2013 and 2014 are $6.00 and $6.82, reflecting annual growth of 7.7% and 13.6%, respectively.

The stock currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other stocks to watch out for in the industry are Arkema S.A. (ARKAY), with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and BASF SE (BASFY) and Air Products & Chemicals Inc. (APD - Analyst Report), each with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
 

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